USA's "worst week yet" in COVID-19
The pace is alarming, by any measure. Even with reduced death rate, the sheer numbers overwhelm healthcare workers and hospitals -- and devastate families.
Too much news to hold onto until Monday. US rates are climbing sharply — almost everywhere. Hospitalization rates are up nearly 50% from earlier this month. If we follow what Europe has seen, US cases will keep growing faster. And, even with improved management of COVID-19 patients, the number of deaths is virtually assured to climb sharply — likely reaching the forecast 300K+ deaths by late December.
Here are the headlines:
This has been the worst week yet in the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, with more than 528,000 new confirmed cases (an average of 75,000 a day) and record-high hospitalization rates in many places. The death toll remains well under the 2,000/day rate reached in April, but the trend still is headed in the wrong direction, with about 800 new deaths from COVID-19 daily.
A COVID-19 vaccine could still reach approval before the end of the year, even as the timeline for completion of safety studies appears to be getting longer. The Guardian has an overview of the status of the three leading vaccine candidates.
A small study found 20% COVID-19 infection among grocery store workers. Rates were highest among employees with customer contact, and most had no symptoms.
Monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 by Regeneron and another by Eli Lilly will no longer be available for patients who are most seriously ill, as data shows that the treatments do not help those who are already in critical condition.
Sailing away, maybe: The CDC’s order barring operation of cruise ships expires this weekend, although the major cruise lines have planned no sailings until after November. The CDC proposed extending the ban until February but was overuled by the White House.
Just politics? CNN conducted a methodical review of COVID rates before and after presidential campaign rallies in 17 places. Almost all of the counties had increased COVID cases after those rallies, with few other factors potentially explaining the surges.